- Subject index
The Punjab crisis, a two-decade long armed insurgency that emerged as a violent ethnonationalist movement in the 1980s and gradually transformed into a secessionist struggle, resulted in an estimated casualty of no less than 25,000 people in Punjab. This ethnonationalist movement, on the one hand ended the perceived notion of looking at Punjab as the model of political stability of independent India, and on the other raised several politico-social questions which had a great effect on Indian politics for decades to come.
The Sikh Separatist Insurgency in Punjab-India provides an authoritative political history of the Sikh separatist insurgency in Punjab by focusing on the “patterns of political leadership”, a previously unexplored variable. It describes in detail the events which led to the emergence of the “Punjab Crisis”, the various means through which the movement was sustained, and the changing nature of political leadership and courses of military action which necessitated its decline in the mid-1990s.
Providing a microhistorical analysis of the Punjab crisis, the book argues that the trajectories of ethnonationalist movements are largely based on the interaction between self-interested political elites, who not only react to the structural choices they face, but whose purposeful actions and decisions ultimately affect the course of ethnic group-state relations. It consolidates this theoretical preposition through a comparative analysis of four contemporary global ethnonationalist movementsthose that occurred in Chechnya, Northern Ireland, Kashmir, and Assam.
This book will be a good reference source for students and academics studying political science, history, South Asia and the Sikhs and also for public policy practitioners in multi-ethnic societies.
Chapter 2: Sikh Ethnic Identity and Early Post-Independence Politics in Punjab
Sikh Ethnic Identity and Early Post-Independence Politics in Punjab
The Political Institutionalization and Symbolic Content of Sikh Ethnic Identity
Sikhs today view Guru Nanak (1465–1539) as being the founder of their religion, a prophet with a divine revelation. Historians generally agree that Nanak was influenced by the bhakti (devotion) movement in north india that criticized the religious leadership and many of the beliefs of both Hinduism and Islam of the contemporary times. A new religion eventually emerged from his teachings and also from the teachings of his successors. Nanak's main beliefs included the belief in a single God, the equality of mankind, a repudiation of the caste system, and rejection of idol worship. Through the succession of nine ...